Jun 16, 2015

Orient express: is a big Aussie company greasing palms to get ahead in Asia?

There are significant business opportunities in south-east Asia -- but allegations of bribery against one Australian company are muddying the waters for everyone.

Michael Sainsbury — Freelance correspondent in Asia and <em>Little Red Blog</em> Editor

Michael Sainsbury

Freelance correspondent in Asia and Little Red Blog Editor

After a lengthy delay since it was “announced” last year, the much-ballyhooed China-Australia Free Trade Agreement will finally be signed tomorrow. Like the South Korean and Japanese free-trade deals that preceded it last year, the government will talk this new deal into the stratosphere. Meanwhile, the reality will be somewhat more sobering as foreign countries start pulling back from China’s slowing economy. Timing, or what?

While the Abbott government appears to be have been caught red-handed supporting precisely the wrong business in Asia — that of people smuggling — big-name Australian companies have been generally hopeless, with a handful of honourable exceptions in Toll Holdings (now part of Japan Post), ANZ, BlueScope and Macquarie making significant pushes into Asia.

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One thought on “Orient express: is a big Aussie company greasing palms to get ahead in Asia?

  1. old greybeard

    Any agreement with China is bullshit. There is no way to enforce any rules, as the rule of law does not exist in China. It no longer exists here, but that is another matter. I read a few days ago of David Blackmore finding a Chinese company labelling meat with his wagyu brand and selling it to restaurants. It was discovered, right down to the supplier. The Australian and Chinese governments took no action whatsoever.

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